posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Well shit. A vote to proceed with the USA FREEDOM Act failed in the Senate after it did not collect the 60 votes that it needed. It failed 58 to 42. Before the vote, I noticed a slight change in the tone of people that I had on the phone: There was optimism that it could make it. It didn’t. You can stick a fork in NSA reform for this year, and this Congress. And, as I’ve said… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 This is the year you and yours should take up 3D printing. Why? Because it’s cool, because 3D printing is the future, and machines have fallen in price and risen in quality. In short, 2015 will be the year of 3D printing. Here are some amazing printers to help you ring it in in style. Zortrax An inexpensive, European-made 3D printer? Yes, please. I reviewed this model this year and found… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Customer relationship management company Merkle announced today that it has acquired startup 500friends. The startup’s LoyaltyPlus platform allows businesses to run customer loyalty programs in stores, online, and on mobile. It also allows them to identify the customers that are likely to have the highest lifetime value. Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 “You can’t post that photo,” said the founder and CEO of a prominent, exited startup. He was talking to his PR agent in a W hotel suite in Times Square. I had just taken a selfie with the two of them, at the publicist’s request, and then excused myself to use the restroom. “Seriously, you can’t post that,” said the CEO. “I look so gay in that… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 A tech industry-backed, U.K. government-funded initiative offering free online courses to those wanting to learn commercial digital business skills goes live today, aiming to upskill Brits to work for tech companies or even start their own startup. Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Another chapter closed in the life of BranchOut, the failed startup that attempted to create a “LinkedIn within Facebook” with tens of millions of dollars in venture backing. The company’s assets have been acquired by 1-Page, an HR software company based out of San Francisco but listed on the Australian stock exchange. Based on today’s stock price, 1-Page is paying… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Boost Media announced earlier today that it has raised $19 million in Series C funding. The company allows advertisers to find the best version of their search ad — it tests variants created by a network of freelance copywriters and designers, identifies the versions with the most clicks or highest conversion rates, then promotes them in a broader campaign. Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 In this episode of Cribs, we headed over to Famo.us, the startup that’s built a web platform for developers and designers. A lot of tech companies try to make their offices feel as homey as possible for the comfort of their employees, but Famo.us just might take the cake. That’s because Famo.us is actually headquartered in what used to be CEO Steve Newcomb’s actual home. A… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Danny Donado spent years working for a hedge fund bemoaning the lack of a good document and research management tool that he could use to organize and share the copious notes he was making on potential deals, so finally he built one. Donado launched Bipsync so other hedge funders wouldn’t have to. The former Miura Global employee initially used Evernote, Dropbox, and Salesforce to… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 In its last quarterly earnings video streaming service Netflix teased that it would be soon launching in more countries and today comes confirmation of that: the company will be expanding Down Under, to Australia and New Zealand, in March 2015. “Internet-connected users in Australia and New Zealand will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Launching today, Far Cry 4 is the latest in Ubisoft’s franchise of first-person shooters set in exotic locales. It takes place in a big, beautiful open world roughly based the area around the Himalayas in Nepal. It’s the first big shooter since the Wolfenstein reboot to focus on providing a fun single player campaign instead of tacking one on to a primarily multiplayer game. Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 So much for bipartisanship. Earlier today, Senator Mitch McConnell attacked the USA FREEDOM Act, intimating that supporting it would harm the nation in its current struggle with terror-state ISIS. Also today, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden, from the other slice of the aisle, indicated that they would vote for the bill. A few Republicans appear set to support the Act, including the… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has responded to the controversy caused by Uber Exec Emil Michael suggesting the company should dig up dirt on journalists who criticize it, including PandoDaily’s editor Sarah Lacy. In a tweetstorm, he said that “Emil’s comments at the recent dinner party were terrible and do not represent the company…His remarks showed a lack of leadership, a… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 BuzzFeed’s next step is messaging apps, and it’s teamed up with Tencent to become a media partner on the Chinese firm’s WeChat app, which counts 468 million monthly active users across the world. Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 While the FBI was able to take down a number of popular Dark Web sites including the Silk Road 2, it seems the wide-ranging attacks targeted mostly fake sites. Friend of TC Nik Cubrilovic has taken a closer look at the sites the FBI attacked and found that 153 of the 276 them were spam sites or clones. “Of the 153 clone or scam sites, 133 were clones and 20 were scam or phishing… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 You know those signs on the side of the road that read “We Buy Ugly Houses?” Well, here comes the digital equivalent of that: a startup called App Suey is beginning to acquire poorly-managed, barely profitable app-based businesses with the ambitious goal of eventually owning 1% of all apps in the App Store by the end of 2016. No one has ever done this before, says the… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Ideally, every time you visit a website, that connection should happen over a secure HTTPS connection so nobody can snoop on your surfing habits when you are using a public network at a coffee shop or at the airport. But in reality, most smaller websites don’t offer these kind of secure connections because getting the kind of digital public-key certificate that makes HTTPS connections… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 A lot of messaging apps have been highlighting how their services are a great way for people to directly communicate with their friends directly, in opposition to the bear-all nature of social networks like Facebook. But today Viber, the messaging app with 209 million users, is taking a different approach: it is launching Public Chats, giving users a way of using its private messaging app… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Apple has launched WatchKit, the development platform for its debut smartwatch, which will be available to consumers sometime early next year. The Apple Watch at launch supports apps that include both a WatchKit extension on the iPhone connected to the device, and UI elements stored on the Watch itself. The iPhone runs the show, but the Apple Watch is sending output (like notifications) and… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Google has begun letting third-party developers build apps for Android Auto, with the release of a new set of APIs for its in-car software platform. The initial set of APIs out the door support audio and messaging apps, similar to the launch set of features being offered by Apple with CarPlay. The Android Auto platform is designed to work from your device, letting you plug it into your car… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Financial analysts matter. That’s why you often hear them asking question at the end of earnings calls, when the CEOs of public companies try to avoid answering them directly. They research, analyze, and make recommendations that the regular person can follow. Too bad they are often so damn wrong. Tracour, co-founded by Brad Sams — Sams is a well-known technology writer, and… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 OrderWithMe, a startup based out of Las Vegas that has built a platform for small businesses to come together to effectively act like big ones to source, order and pay for supplies and components – has raised another $28 million in funding. The company says the money will be used to build out its operations to new verticals — it has “multiple industry partners lined… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 700 million people use Facebook Groups every month, but it’s second-class experience on mobile, slow and buried in the social network’s main app. So today Facebook is releasing a standalone Groups app with powerful notifications controls and a Groups discovery section. You won’t be forced to use it as the Groups feature will remain in the Facebook app, and you won’t… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 Image recognition has come a long way over the last few years and maybe more so than anybody else, Google has brought some of those advances to end users. To see how far we’ve come, just try searching through your own images on Google Photos, for example. But recognizing objects (and maybe basic scenes) is only a first step. In September, Google showed how its approach, using the… Read More

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posted 4 days ago on techcrunch
 If there’s one thing that remains consistent about the differences between iOS and Android users, it’s that the former seem to install, engage with and pay for more mobile applications. Today, a new study from Adobe Digital Index reinforces a few of these points using new data collected from over 700 million apps sessions, noting that iOS now represents 65% of app launches to… Read More

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